Brighton 1-1 Spurs report - 'Are we there yet?'

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Albion took another step towards safety with a hard-earned point as we matched another member of the 'Big Six' at the Amex.

18th Apr 2018

Championship heroes

With Dutch midfielder Davy Propper commencing a three-game ban for his sending off against Huddersfield, eight of Chris Hughton’s starting eleven were all stalwarts of Albion’s Championship promotion campaign. 

Beram Kayal slotted back into midfield alongside Dale Stephens, whilst El Capitan Bruno resumed at right-back, replacing Ezequiel Schelotto.

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Albion more than matched their illustrious opponents in the early stages of the game, harrying and pressing when Spurs had possession, and moving the ball with a fluency that had been missing of late.

Bruno adds a surety to Albion’s play. One of the most technically-gifted players to have ever donned the blue and white stripes, he is able to receive the ball when under pressure and deliver it safely to a team-mate.

He may be 37-and-a-bit but he has class in abundance that makes up for a lack of pace.

Up front Glenn Murray got the nod again - perhaps slightly surprisingly - and the tireless Pascal Gross, one of the three new boys to start, sat behind him, pulling the strings of Albion’s forays forward.

Both keepers were called into action, but both were able to repel all that was thrown at them.

Scrappy

After a goalless first period, Albion came out for the second half and it all turned a bit scrappy. Conceding possession in our own half allowed Spurs to break and Harry Kane was presented with the sort of chance that Harry Kane scores from. It was a sucker punch and one we didn’t truly deserve.

Conceding in that manner, it would have been easy for heads to drop, but Albion are made of sterner stuff than that these days.

From the resultant kick-off Albion surged forward with Murray releasing Jose Izquierdo to run through on goal.

Serge Aurier tangled with the Colombian and Kevin Friend, who had not been particularly friendly towards us all evening, pointed to the spot.

Watching subsequent replays, the penalty looked a bit soft, but you take them when they come your way.

German efficiency

Murray has previously missed two crucial spot kicks this season, and as 27,000 Albion fans held their collective breath, Gross picked up the ball, and the responsibility for getting us back into the game.

The German struck his shot low and hard towards Hugo Loris’s bottom right corner. The French stopper guessed correctly and got down well, but was not able to keep the ball out.

Albion retreated deep for periods of the second half as Spurs probed for a way through, but Hughton’s men retained their shape well, making it difficult for Spurs to create anything meaningful.

This pattern of play allowed us to counter-attack, but chances remained at a premium. The final whistle was met with a roar of approval. It was another magnificent effort.

Are we there yet?

Albion remain 13th in the Premier League, but move up to 36 points. That's eight above both Stoke and Southampton, who are sitting in those uncomfortable spots below the dotted line. 

Ahead of their FA Cup semi-final at the weekend, Southampton must visit Leicester on Thursday night.

Seagulls will become Foxes that night as a win for Leicester will be another blow to the Saints, leaving them with just four league fixtures to try and find the points they need to scramble to safety.

With tough fixtures ahead - time will tell whether we achieved Premier League safety with this point.

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